Autism Speaks to Washington (#AS2DC), a 3-day national policy and action summit, kicked off in the nation’s capital with an event honoring the Congressional Autism Caucus. Co-chairs, Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) spoke at the event as well as Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Autism Speaks Co-founder Suzanne Wright.
Rep. Doyle issued a call to action, “We need to fund some of these programs that need funding…tell these members of congress we need to start putting some dollars behind this combating autism act.”
Rep. Smith addressed the issue of 500,000 children with autism leaving school and entering adulthood in the next decade, “The aging out issue is a huge bubble that will make its way into society and we are not prepared for it.” “What we do here not only helps our own kids, but has a huge impact on combating autism worldwide,” added the congressman.
Watch the Autism Speaks to Washington call to action video played at the event below.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the summit will reconvene at the George Washington University for a robust and exciting line up of keynote speakers and presentations unveiling Autism Speaks’ enhanced state and federal advocacy strategy, groundbreaking advances in science and research, and a full discussion of the barriers to, and opportunities for, addressing the housing needs of those with autism. The summit will be streamed live on Youtube, Ustream and Autism Speaks.org from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On Thursday morning, Nov. 14, Autism Speaks will take over the nation’s capital with lobby visits to all 535 members of Congress, delivering petitions from every state in the nation and a unified call to action on a national plan to address autism.